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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Employer Reporting Basics

Mandatory vs. Optional Membership

Public employees fall into one of two categories:

  • Those who are required to join the System; and
  • Those who may join if they wish.

For mandatory members, the date of membership is the first date worked. An optional member’s date of membership is either:

  • The date you fax the registration to us; or
  • The date you call us to register the member; or
  • The date we receive the membership application.

The membership date is whichever is earlier.

Although membership is not required for optional members, once they join, they cannot terminate their membership unless they:

  • Are not vested and have not worked in public service for at least seven years;
  • Have less than ten years of service credit, leave public employment for at least 15 days and voluntarily withdraw their membership;
  • Transfer to another retirement system;
  • Retire; or
  • Die.

For additional information, please see Section 5 of the Employer’s Guide Adobe pdf.